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J.B. Pritzker’s income tax shell game
Once again, Pritzker thinks money will not only buy him into statewide office but it will also pull the wool over the eyes of Illinois taxpayers. Pritzker’s new income tax plan changes the flat tax to a graduated tax that would open the door to significant tax increases on the middle class down the road. The tax plan is not a new idea but one hoisted on taxpayers by its original creator Dan Hynes, who lost the race for governor in 2010. Hynes is pulling the strings in the Pritzker administration.
By Ray Hanania
Gov. J.B. Pritzker must think the public is stupid. I’ve been watching his heavily financed TV advertising campaign which falsely claims Illinois has the “worst” income tax system in the country.
No Governor. We’re not stupid. Illinois doesn’t have the worst “income tax” system in the country. Illinois has the worst “tax system” in the country. Illinois ranks 49 out of 50 when it comes to taxation. The truth is you are making it worse by changing the system so you can raise taxes on the middle class down the road.
Illinois has a $3.25 billion budget deficit, not because it hasn’t collected more than enough taxes to cover the state’s obligations, but because the state continues to increase pensions for patronage workers, retiring politicians, powerful unions, and their cronies.
Any plan that fails to address the state pension crisis is nothing more than another shell-game. Pritzker’s plan fails to address the pension problem.
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The real purpose is to throw out the “flat tax” and replace it with a “graduated income tax system” that can be adjusted later with “small increases” on the middle class. Pritzker is also proposing new tax hikes his TV Ads don’t address – the TV ads are financed by Pritzker’s Ddark PAC group, “Think Big Illinois.”
Pritzker’s plan to change the “flat income tax” system to a “graduated income tax system” is misleading. Right now, the 4.95 percent “flat tax” IS the fairest system. Pritzker wants you to think the flat tax treats the rich and the poor differently. That’s not true.
Do the math – oh yea, most people in Illinois can’t do math because our school system has sucked for the past four decades. Illinois has catered to the needs of teachers and union wages over the needs of students.
Currently under the Flat Tax system, a person making $1 million pays $49,500 in taxes while a person making $100,000 pays $4,950. Pritzker thinks that if he pours enough money into misleading TV Ads, he can convince us $50,000 is the same as $5,000. It’s the same logic they use to increase sales taxes!
The real purpose is down the line. By replacing the state constituted “flat tax” with a “graduated tax,” Pritzker is setting us up for a series of “small increases” later down the road that will target the middle class.
Under a “flat tax,” you can’t target anyone with small increases. Under the Pritzker “Fair Tax” you can.
Four years from now, they will say 4.95 isn’t enough and raise it “only slightly” to 5.5 percent. Then 5.8 percent. Then 6 percent. Then 6.5 percent. They can keep it low on the poor that way. Who will complain if they hike the new graduated tax in tiny steps to “save” transportation, education, healthcare, or whatever excuse they will promise but not deliver on?
Pritzker has surrounded himself with tax-and-spend politicians like former Comptroller Dan Hynes who has been advocating eliminating the “flat tax” for the “graduated tax” for years.
What Pritzker and Hynes are doing is kicking the can down the road, setting up a system in which they can water torture us to death with “small” income tax increases down the road.
Remember when they increased the flat tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent in July 2017 — a massive 32 percent increase in income tax collections. (The 3.75 tax went up 1.2 to 4.95 tax.) They initially suggested it would be temporary. Temporary my ass! They knew all along it would be “permanent.”
The worst part is while Pritzker has us focused on his “Fair Tax” — it’s not fair at all as I have explained – he is hoping we don’t notice the massive “Soda Pop” taxes he is slipping in through the side door.
Pritzker is proposing a massive hike in the state gasoline tax. He’s planning a whopping 7 cent tax on plastic bags used in retail stores (whether you use a plastic bag or not). He’s going to tax streaming movie services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video. He’s planning “sin tax” hikes on cigarettes and sports betting.
Worse, Pritzker wants to tax all financial transactions – which impacts your banking fees, stocks and retirement savings.
Pritzker isn’t running Ads to promote the plastic bag tax, the massive gas tax hike, or the new streaming movie tax!
By the time Pritzker and Hynes are done with us, we won’t have any money left to tax.
(Ray Hanania is an award-winning political columnist and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Ray writes on every topic under the sun in his weekly opinion columns. He also hosts two podcasts, one on Middle East issues at www.TheArabStreet.organd one of Chicagoland and mainstream politics at www.RayHananiaonPolitics.com. His podcasts are available on iTunes, Spotify and most major podcast carriers. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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